Yep, it’s rubber-hose time, folks: a rapid-fire Q&A for those shifty-looking usual suspects ...
What crime novel would you most like to have written?
THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. It’s the perfect thriller. And Hannibal Lecter is the most interesting, captivating villain.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Jack Reacher. He kicks ass and always gets the woman. Captain Kirk would be a close second. And he has those cool phasers . . .
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
I love this question. I’m about to finish the last book of the Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series – the basis for the HBO show True Blood. I’m not a fan of vampire books, but I was curious about this and man-oh-man I wasn’t disappointed. They’re great, fun reads. Can’t recommend them enough.
Most satisfying writing moment?
Working with Richard Marek on my first book, DEVIANT WAYS. Richard was the editor of THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and he taught me everything I need to know about how to write a good, solid thriller.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
Anything from John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series. If I had to pick one, I’d say THE KILLING KIND. That book scared me to death.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
I’d have to go with John Connolly’s THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS. It’s such a beautiful novel, and it really showcases John’s sense of humour.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The worst thing is the middle of the book. That’s where I get stuck more often than not, and it’s at that point I’m usually telling myself I have no business doing this for a living. It’s hell for a while, then I finally see the light and start moving toward the end. The best thing? Those moments I call “happy accidents.” In THE MISSING, I had a specific ending in mind. As I was writing, that little voice in my head said, “What if you did such and such?” The idea stopped me dead in my tracks it was so frightening. I love those moments.
The pitch for your next book is …?
It’s another Darby McCormick book called THE LIVING DEAD. Here’s the pitch: What if kids are abducted, disappear for ten or twenty years, and then suddenly show up as killers?
Who are you reading right now?
I’m just finishing up Gregg Hurwitz’s TRUST NO ONE. It’s a thriller. Great writing, great plot, and a fantastic ending. Loved it from start to finish.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
I’d have to go with writing. It’s more rewarding.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Fast, furious and terrifying.
Chris Mooney’s THE DEAD ROOM is published by Penguin
“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.